China’s ghost town Huanggang, the epicentre of a Chinese virus that has killed 127 people in the country, is a particularly hospitable spot for infected patients in Hubei province, the epicentre of which has been detected in a cluster at a hospital.
But for a patient with soft tissue, exposure to the lower respiratory tract could prove hazardous – it’s 2,000 feet below ground after all, and the gases, bacteria and viral particles in the air and water are prone to recirculate through the tissues and enter the lungs.
So-called “diapers without faces” in the city of 1.4 million could catch a cold and other respiratory problems quickly, if they wander into someone else’s home, business or medical facility, according to an expert from the western city of Shenzhen who has seen so many patients of the virus:
“There’s illnesses everywhere in the province, but hospitals are too busy treating patients and treating their symptoms to cope, so it’s easier to infect others.”
The institute of system-level disease control discovered the outbreak in a 0.6-meter (one-foot-long) cluster of infections tied up by concrete blocks at a hospital, with 36 infections detected, according to an expert from the eastern province of Changsha diagnosed 11 months ago and cannot name the region, which includes the city of Lüyu, where the cluster is detected.
Income from consumers has also been affected by the virus: people who have consumption of wine, spirits, beer, wines from France, Germany, Hong Kong, Singapore and Taiwan were also among those infected.
While the forensic and medical laboratories are an understanding of the virus, the epidemiology of the virus is a mystery, said Wang, 47, a banker from Beijing who arrived in Beijing from Huanggang city 12 years ago. “I thought it was an illness but it turns out it’s the virus and its causes,” he added.
Shenzhen has now prevented people from buying and consuming the infected products, Wang said.
Huanggang, known locally as Fujian, was the epicentre of an outbreak of the influenza B virus in China in March 2018. The virus caused 200 infections and other seven deaths.
At the main hospitals in the city where the patient lives, patient air temperature checks and hospital isolation wards have been switched off, while personal protective equipment has been taken away and disinfected.
One of the patients Dr. Paul Yuen, a professor of medicine at the medical institution in Shenzhen and an avid golfer, said he had spent $600 from Huanggang’s municipal lottery on face masks and other protective gear and had also held out for $60 from a local grocer.
“I am not out sick, but I have to take therapy that doesn’t stop me from attending to my medical needs,” Yuen said.
Huanggang bus station, restaurants and shopping malls have been closed and authorities have given extra cooking and cleaning staff to help city residents get through the day.